Churchill’s Declares 2016 as a Vintage Port Year

“Natural acidity in a young Vintage Port is the key to longevity. Our decision to declare Churchill’s 2016 Vintage Port has been based on the purity, ripeness and intensity of its fruit flavours, but especially on its excellent natural acidity”.

John Graham – Founder and wine maker.

Churchill’s announces the decision to declare 2016 as a Vintage Port year. The climatic conditions in 2016 in the Cima Corgo and Douro Superior regions were unusual but ultimately beneficial.

After a wet winter and an unusually wet and cold Spring, there followed the usual hot Douro Summer culminating in an August heatwave. The heavy rainfall in the late Spring helped to top up the water table providing the vines with the necessary hydric reserves to support a long, hot and dry Summer. By early September Churchill’s grape maturation tests showed that both sugar and phenolic maturations were well advanced. All that was needed was dry and cooler weather for the vintage. By 7th September these conditions were met and they started picking on 10th September taking it slowly and carefully selecting and prioritising the grapes which had reached maturity.

Churchill’s final lagar was filled on 8th October.

Despite the rainfall earlier in the year, the extreme heat of the Douro Summer had concentrated the juice in the grapes and the yields were low. The resulting wines show an intensity and purity of fruit combined with a vein of fresh natural acidity which gives them elegance and longevity.

Total production is 4,000 x 6 bottles with 2,000 x 6 available globally for this offer.

Availability Churchill’s 2016 Vintage Port is available from New Generation Wines on 0207 938 7300. The anticipated retail price is between £60 and £70 a bottle.

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In a sector surrounded by old players, established for many centuries, Churchill’s in its almost 36 years of existence has distinguished itself by its exclusive wines with their unique identity. It was that identity, with a unique and individual style, that John Graham wanted to bring to Port Wine, when he founded the Company in 1981.

Buying Quinta da Gricha in 1999 was an important and fundamental step for bringing Churchill’s into the production of Douro wines, and making them a special case of success. Being only a youngster in a sector of ancient competitors, “give us the right” to confront this business with some irreverence and bolder claims.

As for the wines, the more elegant, and less sweets wines are Churchill’s style.

All Churchill’s Ports and Douro wines are made only with Grade A grapes and produced exclusively with native grape varieties.

All the grapes for their ports are crushed and vinified in ‘lagares,’ or traditional open granite fermentation tanks; here the grapes are foot-trodden in time-honoured fashion, still the most effective way of producing Vintage Port.

A key factor to Churchill’s dry style is the longer fermentation time. Longer fermentation means less added brandy, more natural alcohol, therefore a more natural wine. Also a longer fermentation gives the wine more structure.

“My ports are made with as much natural fermentation and with as little fortification brandy as possible. I like to make wines in the most natural way. Above all I look for balance.” John Graham



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